Environmental Groups Warn Drilling Will Hurt Bay | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Environmental Groups Warn Drilling Will Hurt Bay

Play associated audio
Environmentalists warn that offshore drilling threatens the Chesapeake Bay.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjorford/
Environmentalists warn that offshore drilling threatens the Chesapeake Bay.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is welcoming President Obama's decision to allow offshore drilling for oil and gas. He says it will create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue. But environmental groups are warning of threats to the Chesapeake Bay.

Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says drilling offshore will mean oil infrastructure onshore.

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the pressure to put oil refineries into the bay will be huge," says Baker.

And with refineries come pipes and trucks and barges all full of oil - and opportunities for spills. Baker says they could add up.

"There's potential for catastrophe but it's much more about introducing a constant stream of small, sub-lethal amounts of oil to the system which science has clearly said is not compatible with life in the Chesapeake Bay," he says.

Jerry Grantham, president of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association, takes a different view.

"Really the technology has increased significantly, that those types of issues are generally just not a problem. And a lot of those areas in the Gulf of Mexico have become habitats for sea-life," says Grantham.

Environmentalists though point to a major oil spill from a new drilling rig off the coast of Australia last year, which leaked 9 million gallons of oil into the ocean.

NPR

Influential Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Dies At 75

Mary Ellen Mark's work appeared in such publications as Life and Vanity Fair. Her photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of Streetwise, an Academy Award-nominated film.
NPR

How Dorothea Lange Taught Us To See Hunger And Humanity

Perhaps no one did more to show us the human toll of the Great Depression than Lange, who was born on this day in 1895. Her photos of farm workers and others have become iconic of the era.
NPR

How Will The Next President Protect Our Digital Lives?

For the first time in a White House race, the candidates will need a game plan for cyber policy for Day 1 in the Oval Office and will have some tough choices to make.
NPR

How Will The Next President Protect Our Digital Lives?

For the first time in a White House race, the candidates will need a game plan for cyber policy for Day 1 in the Oval Office and will have some tough choices to make.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.